Just in time for Valentine’s Day — launching Thursday, in fact — comes mobile application KillSwitch, which allows users who are still Facebook friends with their exes to eliminate all traces of that person from their timelines.
The app will launch Thursday for iOS and Android, and while it will cost $0.99 in the App Store and Google Play, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Heart Association of New York.
How does it work? As long as both parties are still Facebook friends, KillSwitch will use bots to scour the user’s profile of all content tagged with their former significant other’s Facebook ID: photos, videos, wall posts, and status updates.
Users can then choose to delete all content, manually choose which content to delete, or store everything in KillSwitch folders on their Facebook accounts that only they can see.
The deleting process can take time, depending on connectivity. We did one test with more than 4,000 posts, and it can take up to 15 minutes. In further iterations, we’re hoping to work with partners to serve up relevant content during this waiting period — maybe pics of shirtless firemen?
This app is intended as an assertion of independence and healing mechanism for the KillSwitcher. It’s meant to help the user reclaim their little corner of the Internet — their Facebook profile — not to inflict pain.
It’s more about saving yourself from the greater implications of having evidence of defunct relationships all over your business. Can we ever really invest in a new relationship while evidence of our past ones remain etched into the peripheries of our digital lives?
One of the upgrades we have coming down the pipeline will attempt to predict this with a “Breakup Severity Slide.” Users can determine what content is deleted based on how bad the breakup was. Slide it one way if it was amicable, and it’ll keep group pictures with your ex, for instance. If he or she tore your heart out and ran it over with a skateboard, slide the other way and it’ll wipe ‘em all.
People might think that Facebook won’t like a service like this, but in essence, what KillSwitch does is allows users to feel even more comfortable about sharing because it allows them to control and cut down some of the unnecessary negative consequences of doing so.
Readers: Are you thinking about flipping the KillSwitch?